In 1915, Ernest Shackleton, sent by Winston Churchill, sought out vibranium in the Antarctic. His ship, the Endurance, was lost. Later, Leonard McKenzie, with the telepath Paul Destine as a passenger, attempted to recover the Vibranium. Princess Fen was sent to investigate explosions near the surface by her father, Emperor Thakorr. McKenzie met, fell in love with, and impregnated Princess Fen with the child who became Namor. However, Atlantean soldiers came to retrieve Fen and attacked McKenzie's crew. Leonard McKenzie was believed dead by Fen following the attack and she returned to Atlantis, pregnant.
The child was named "Namor" which means "Avenging Son". Namor spent his boyhood taunting his cousin Dorma, as well playing with his other cousins Namora and Byrrah as well as his friend Meranno. An oil spill in 1936 attracted the attention of Namor, who began a relationship with a young woman named Sandy. Namor grew up distrusting surface dwellers.